S.S.O.S (Stop Spoiling Our Songs)

Some of you may be wondering what has happened to some of my rants which used to feature here.

I mean, I haven’t mentioned Brexit for ages have I? No need really, it’s all going so predictably swimmingly.

Don’t fret, my illness and hospital stay hasn’t knocked the ire out of me.

No, these days I prefer to reserve my grumpiness for more tricky targets.

For example: Christmas adverts. And the tunes contained therein.

Jeeeeezus, where to start?

To be honest, I can’t really get angry about those which use Christmas records to promote their wares. That seems fair enough.

But there’s a few this year which have taken non-Christmas songs and appropriated them for their own misgotten gains. This is a trend started, I think, by the suits behind the annual John Lewis Christmas campaign, with much success – if creating what I believe has to be called “a storm” on social media can be considered a success. Will there be a man on the moon with a telescope this year? And what song will be used? Questions which demand an answer up until around about mid-November each year when the advert first airs, and we can all let out a collective sigh of relief and relax again.

This year they have employed the servies of one Reginald Dwight and his first ever hit, Your Song (and, I notice quite a few of his other hits in orbital ads – Elton: you have lots of songs and you’re embarking on a last ever tour, we get it already). I’m not saying that implying that Mama Dwight bought Eton his first piano from John Lewis is a cynical attempt to a) claim some part in his success, and b) generate a few sales in the process, but I read somewhere (I wish I could remember where, it would make my disapproval so much more justifiable, but then we are living in a post-truth world, right?) that until this year John Lewis have never sold pianos. Make of that what you will.

As I say, there’s others out there. One supermarket chain has decided to use Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way as the background to their view of a harmonious family scenario. The moment I saw the advert, I thought: “Why are they using that???”

It’s a bit like when Donald Trump ‘adopted’ (without his permission) Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA in his 2016 election campaign, despite the lyrics actually being the antithesis of his Make America Great Again slogan.

Let’s be clear: Go Your Own Way features on the Rumours album – an album which is very well known for being a ‘break-up’ record, in that the band had split from the coupled into individuals who now actively disliked each other. Each song contained therein is a moment of a breakdown captured.

Only if you buy into the idea that Christmas with the family is something to be endured rather than enjoyed (in which case: have a fun festive time, Scrooge McDuck), is this an appropriate song to soundtrack your advert.

Unless the message is: “Here’s your Christmas dinner, now isn’t it time you were fucking off and leaving us to quaff the Baileys?”, which seems rather an odd position to take, thank you very much Mr (or Mrs) Food Chain.

Time to reclaim it:


Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way

More soon.